Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Smith, Dodie (I Capture the Castle)

I feel deficient because I didn't enjoy this as much as I thought I would. Like, I've been kicked out of the Jane Austen Fan Club because of it.

It was a slog for me. If I try to pin that down, I think it's because I wasn't expecting a re-telling of Pride and Prejudice - which it isn't in many ways but this is obviously the tale that inspires it - especially one set after World War I with vastly different mores and social settings, and an odd interplay between the British and the Americans in the tale.

I kept struggling to pick it up and read more. The castle in question is very romantic - dark and spooky and dank and lacking in furniture... On second thought, I think the castle never seemed romantic, it seemed horrible. Was it supposed to be both?? I remain confused on this subject, and think it's an important point because Americans are likely to think - "Ooh, abandoned castle, sounds like a fun adventure!" - way more than the British will. Americans will be conflicted, as a result, while the British can squarely place this novel in its rightful place - as a discussion of the changing role of women, how family dynamics changed over the decades, and what a successful life looked like in the 1930s vs. in the 1800s.

Also, I didn't like anyone in the book. Except maybe the poor stepmother, but even she exhibits some  behaviors that were... unsettling. And I don't just mean the naked meanderings on the castle grounds.

No comments: